Theory & History

Seminars celebrate Vietnam's liberation

“A Victory for all humanity” was how the cover of Direct Action welcomed the liberation of Saigon and final unification of Vietnam on April 30, 1975, and that was the theme of a series of seminars in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane organised in September by Direct Action and the Revolutionary Socialist Party. (The final seminar will be in Perth on October 2.) The seminars also celebrated Vietnam’s independence in 1945, and discussed the long struggle for freedom and independence, the antiwar and anti-conscription struggle in Australia, and the situation in Vietnam today.

Government 'transparency': what's at stake?

In the negotiations between the two major parties and the Greens and independents over who would form the new federal government, “transparency” was a frequently mentioned issue. Tony Abbott and the Coalition were criticised, legitimately, for their effort to hide the real cost of their election promises. The agreement between the ALP and Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott pledged them, among other things, to “pursue” “transparent and accountable government”. After Windsor and Oakeshott announced their support for Labor, Julia Gillard gushed, “... let’s draw back the curtains and let the sun shine in, let our parliament be more open than it was before”, adding, “We will be held to higher standards of transparency and reform ...”

Vietnam's Independence Day

Vietnam won its independence 65 years ago. On September 2, 1945, in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square, hundreds of thousands of people heard President Ho Chi Minh, on behalf of the provisional government, read out the Declaration of Independence.

Led by the Vietnamese Independence League, or Viet Minh, the August Revolution of 1945 ended 80 years of French colonial domination, abolished the monarchy and re-established Vietnam as an independent nation. Vietnam was the first country in Asia to achieve independence from colonial domination.

Does socialism contradict human nature?

Socialism, someone said to me recently, may be a fine idea, but unfortunately human nature would prevent it from operating as intended; by nature, people are too individualistic or competitive or greedy to live in a system of planned cooperation and solidarity. Is this the case?

The history and development of Zionism

Zionism, belief that all Jews throughout the world constitute a nation that requires its own homeland, is a relatively recent ideology. It is a direct product of capitalism and it is important to understand Zionism, its fallacies and development in order to understand the struggle of the Palestinian people for national self-determination and to understand the ideological basis of the apartheid state of Israel.

Cuba's July 26: 57 years of struggle without surrender

“I’d do it exactly the same all over again”, Fidel Castro insisted on July 24, making one of his first public appearances since a devastating intestinal illness in 2006 forced him from the public eye. The former president was referring to the failed 1953 attack he led against the Moncada Barracks in Oriente province, which proved to be the opening salvo in the Cuban Revolution. Castro was visiting the municipality of Artemisa to pay tribute to Cuba’s July 26 martyrs. He read a commemorative message to the crowd, describing July 26, 2010, as the “attainment of 57 years of struggle without surrender for the independence of our homeland”.

What can an individual do?

It’s easy enough to see that there are many things in this world that need changing. Figuring out how to change them is a bit more complicated.

Peter Camejo's 50 years of struggle for socialism

North Star — A Memoir
By Peter Camejo
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010

Socialism: yes, it is possible

“Socialism sounds like a great idea, but it’s not really feasible. At least in the developed countries, workers are too brainwashed by the system, and the ruling class is just too powerful to be overthrown.” That is not a precise quotation from any specific person, but socialists frequently encounter arguments to this effect. It is a widespread view in developed capitalist countries like Australia. How accurate is it?

Vietnam 1975: A victory for all humanity!

Thirty-five years ago the monstrous US (and Australian) war against the people of Vietnam finally came to an end. On April 30, 1975, Vietnamese forces entered Saigon. There were memorable scenes — the Vietnamese tank smashing through the gates of the puppet presidential palace; people streaming to the roof of the US embassy to catch the last helicopters out of Saigon; helicopters being pushed overboard from US aircraft carriers off the coast to make way for more fleeing helicopters.